When it comes to how much money medical assistants make their average income can vary depending on factors such as the areas cost of living, the state they work for and the MA’s experience and background at their job.
Overall most medical assistants can expect an annual salary of around $25,000 to $37,000 per year (depending on the source), with a national average of around $30,000 per year.
As with most jobs a medical assistants salary will increases as they gain more experience and take on additional responsibilities.
The medical assistant career is a secure field that provides a comfortable living wage for the average person.
Factors affecting a medical assistants salary:
- State salary expectations
- Experience and education
- Negotiated salary
- Overtime and bonuses
- Full-time / part-time status
- Career and employment opportunities available within the area
Earning a higher income
Medical assistants that wish to increase their income and advance in the healthcare field can choose to take one of several routes.
Medical assistants that are interested in staying within their field may choose to take on a managerial / supervisor role, if it is offered at the healthcare facility/office they work in.
Supervisors and managers have the opportunity to train, shape and motivate the administrative team and help improve the work flow of the office/building they operate in.
Medical assistants have the opportunity to cross train in other areas of administrative work.
For example a medical assistant may choose to gain an education in medical billing and coding, which will allow them to perform more duties in the work place and potentially increase their salary as a result.
Being cross trained can also help secure a job more easily and allow the employee to negotiate a higher wage based on their additional training and education.
Allied health management
Medical assistants may choose to earn a bachelors degree in allied health management, which can open up new avenues for those who want to take their education and training to the next level.
There are a number of accredited schools that can help medical assistants earn a degree so that they can eventually to take on future roles as administrative assistants, supervisors, department heads and even chief executive officers.
The nursing field offers a wide range of opportunities for career advancement and career diversity.
At the registered nursing level individuals can choose to specialize in any one of over 75 different career specialties available to registered nurses.
other technical positions
In addition to the career paths mentioned above here are few other career choices medical assistants may choose to pursue.
Medical assistants may earn a certification/diploma as a:
- EKG technician
- X-ray technician
- Diagnostic medical sonographer
- Medical technologist
One of the easiest and fastest ways for a medical assistant to potentially earn a higher salary and secure job faster is to take a certification exam and become certified.
While the certification exam is optional those who acquire their certification are able to prove they have received adequate training as a medical assistant.
In fact many healthcare facilities prefer to hire medical assistants that have passed the certification exam as it ensures them that the medical assistant has been trained appropriately and is capable of handling the tasks that they will be given to them.
In the end how much money a medical assistant will make per year will depend on a variety of factors, and the medical assistants who earn the highest wages will be the ones that take advantage of the educational / training opportunities available to them so that they can go on to more diverse roles that make it easier to advance within their current career or transition to a new career field.
Because the majority of medical assistants work in a clinical setting it is safe to assume that they will work within the parameters of a clinical schedule.
Most medical assistants can expect to work a standard 40 hour work week (8 hours a day) and operate within the hours of the facility they work for.
For example a medical assistant that works in a physicians office may work between the days of Monday – Saturday and between the hours of 7am – 6pm, or whatever hours are arranged by the clinic, however it is important to not that medical assistants who work for a hospital or urgent care center may end up working more sparse or irregular hours because these facilities can operate on a 24 / 7 schedule.
Medical assistant career information
These medical assistants play an important role in the healthcare system and use their clinical and administrative expertise to help physicians and other medical professionals focus on their own tasks by eliminating many of the clinical / administrative duties that would otherwise take up valuable time.
Most medical assistants work in a clinical setting under the supervision of a physician or other healthcare professional, however they may also work in a variety of other healthcare settings such as outpatient care centers, long term care facilities, urgent care centers, ambulatory care services and hospitals.
The exact tasks that a medical assistant is assigned to perform will vary depending on their employer’s needs, however administratively they are generally responsible for keeping track of medical records, setting up appointments, assisting patients with various forms and paperwork, running the reception desk, answering phone calls and handling billing.
As far as the clinical aspects of medical assisting goes these healthcare providers assist doctors and nurses during exams, clean medical equipment, gather patient medical histories, collect bodily fluid samples and specimens, measure vital signs and perform other tasks that may be needed in the facility.
Medical assistants are able to manage a diverse range of responsibilities such as:
- Explain treatment procedures
- Assist the physician during patient examinations
- Measure, monitor and record patient vitals
- Administer medication
- Draw blood
- Collect bodily fluid samples such as urine and saliva
- Remove sutures and change dressings
- Take electrocardiograms
- Prepare and handle medical equipment and tools
- Operate and manage clinical computer programs/applications
- Answer phone calls
- Greet patients
- Schedule medical appointments
- Update and maintain patient medical records
- Manage coding and billing
- Assist patients with medical forms
- Handle and perform bookkeeping
Those who wish to become medical assistants must be well-organized, have a positive attitude and be able to adjust to constantly changing situations.
Being a good medical assistant isn’t just about managing the day to day operations of the office.
Because medical assistants often work directly with patients it is important that they are compassionate, caring, patient and open-minded when communicating with others.
Medical assistants also need to maintain a strong professional presence and respect the patients privacy they serve.
Job growth for this career field is expected to grow significantly over the next ten years.
Growing economies and an aging baby boomer population means there will be more jobs for those either work as or want to become medical assistants.
In fact estimates of job growth ranging from 25% – 35% percent over the next decade are being reported by numerous healthcare static providers.
Medical assistants make up a large portion of the clinical employment population and as the medical assistant field continues grows it will offer new career advancement opportunities and diverse career choices for working medical assistants.
By cross training in additional disciplines such as medical billing and coding, administrative management and other interdisciplinary practices medical assistants can continue to grow within their career and eventually transition into more specialized roles, which can provide opportunities to earn a higher salary and shift into more responsible roles.